April 23rd, 2016
Alright, let’s get right down to it: we aren’t going to start testing in April. We wanted to and we thought we could get the launcher and account creation ready in time, but it’s not going to happen. The team has hit a few snags and we’re behind with it, so it is what it is.
There is a silver lining to this delay, however. If we HAD started testing this month, it would have just been to test account creation, the launcher, networking and such related things. So because we are postponing, it means that the team members who aren’t working on the launcher have time to add more to the game! Let’s get down into the details of exactly what was added this last sprint.
Rugnar created several more models, including the bedroll (more on this later) and the all purpose rock. The all-purpose rock, or AProck for short, is the go-to primitive tool for human survival. Humans can harvest them from stone areas using their bare hands and then use them as an axe, knife, weapon, hammer, and so on. While the results won’t be ideal, it will be better than your bare hands in nearly every situation until you can make better for yourself.
Altar has almost finished feathering out the evisceraptor. He isn’t 100% satisfied about how the evisceraptor has turned out, he says it’s not “mean” enough, and is making several adjustments so that our ass-kicking bird looks as terrifying as it will act in the future. I hope to have screenshots of it to share with you all soon.
Blitz55 continues to work on the plethora of art and icons we will need for the first ten skills for the humans. He’s finished the base pieces for the skill challenge window, shown below. The left side of the screen will list all the skills the human can use. Beside the list of skills are their specialties and the number of times the player has completed a challenge for each specialty. Above them are filters for crafting, combat, survival, and so on.
When you click on a skill from the list, information for it appears on the right hand side with a description of the skill and a branching web diagram of the specialities and their perks. The big circle will have an icon that represents the skill. The medium circles will have icons for each specialty, and the three smaller circles off of them show their perks. A green bar circles around the specialties as a representation of the character’s progress in its challenge. Hovering over any of the circles with the cursor will reveal additional information, such as names and descriptions of the perks, details on the current challenge, and total times completed.
Talonthorn is taking the art that Blitz55 has created so far and is tackling the entire skill window GUI work himself, just as he did with the launcher UI components. Already he has the web diagram set up and rotating around the central circle, so we can evenly space specialties as they are added in the future.
Yevi continues to push forward with finalizing the launcher and has made great progress this last sprint. This sprint he intends to set up the master server, which is the server that will handle the login and authentication processes, as well as host the server list and character creation screen.
Orion McDuff had many demands on his time because of his day job during the last two weeks, and so wasn’t able to make any substantial contributions. This sort of thing is the biggest hurdle we face as a team of part-timers. We respect that everyone’s free time is limited and subject to variations from sprint to sprint. Brax and Loestri are very vocal in their appreciation of what time the team can commit to the project and we all look forward to a day where we can spend our regular work weeks on ToA.
Emrys90 has implemented unconsciousness, death, respawning, and corpse looting. This is where our internal testing has nudged what we’ve already planned in the design document. Instead of only a random location to choose for respawning after death, Brax decided that we should instead allow the players to establish their own respawn locations too. Humans will be able to make and use bedrolls, while raknar can create web nests, and dragons can use their hoards. We’ll go into greater detail on how this will function in our next Design Discussion.
To “help” along the whole test-death-and-respawning thing, Emrys90 also included the basics of combat damage so we could bludgeon each other to death with our swords and shovels. We spent two hours following our last meeting chasing each other down to test the mechanics. Hilarity ensued; it got to the point that a few people fell unconscious from running in an effort to escape the revenge of their previous victims. This also led to the realization that name plates showed for too far of a distance, making it practically impossible to elude a pack of pursuers. So changing the distance will be something we will experiment with in the future.
Pleased with our progress or annoyed by the delay in testing? Share with us at http://www.trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-25.5654/.